To put it in perspective, one must look at the big picture. Not only are we faced with reauthorizing the Export Administration Act [EAA] but a number of other things are happening on the export and the export control front.
Currently, on the international front, the United States has no agreement with our allies on a successor regime to CoCom which expired on March 31. The new multilateral regime is critical to controlling the worldwide proliferation of militarily critical products and technologies to rogue regimes. Many members of this committee, on a bipartisan basis, joined me earlier this year in supporting a resolution which passed the Senate expressing the importance of this goal. Without a multilateral organization, the United States could end up controlling these items unilaterally, a situation that is good for neither security or economic interests.
On the domestic front, the administration has decontrolled approximately 70 percent of United States export controls through regulation, including significant decontrols to Russia and China. In fiscal year 1993, there were over 25,000 license applications. In fiscal year 1995, the number is expected to drop to under 8,500. While there was justification for some export decontrol, these efforts appear extreme. From the exporter's point of view, this massive decontrol has resulted in a minimum of $30 billion in new export opportunities for U.S. businesses.
On the legislative front, I commend my colleagues, Senator Riegle, Senator Sasser, and Senator Mack for their diligence in attempting to provide a bill that balances the security and economic interests of this country. While I support certain aspects of the bill, I have concerns including concerns regarding the decontrol that is occurring around us. Multilateral control and regulatory decontrol are
intricately tied to the effectiveness of what we can accomplish in reauthorizing the EAA. The committee bill and the inclusion of my amendments addressed a number of these concerns.
The committee bill strengthens the U.S. terrorism controls, our most serious security threat today, by making controls mandatory for exports to states which support terrorism. These mandatory controls cover national security and nonproliferation items as well as exports which could contribute to the military potential of those states or to their ability to support terrorism.
The committee bill helps to cut the redtape faced by the exporter when going through the license application process. This bill allows for more timely consideration of U.S. exporter's license application reducing the time spent in the bureaucracy from 120 days down to 60 days. The U.S. exporter should not be disadvantaged in trade due to bureaucratic redtape.
While this EAA bill takes those important steps, there are also areas which concern me greatly. I fully realize the need to help our economy and expand our exports but I do not believe that we can endanger our future security by allowing dangerous dual-use technology to make its way into the hands of the uncontrollable rogue states that threaten the security of the United States and its allies. I believe a number of my colleagues share that goal.
I am afraid that this threat becomes a critical issue in this debate due to: First, the lack of a multilateral successor regime to CoCom to control the proliferation of militarily critical products and technologies to rogue regimes; and, second, the reduction in authority given to the Department of Defense in stopping exports that impact our national security and the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
My first amendment to the committee bill leaves in place the ability for the Department of Defense to veto an export license if the export threatens our national security. This authority shall remain in place until such time as the President certifies that a new multilateral regime has been established and serves the national security interests of the United States.
Currently, this is section 10(g) of current law. Every EAA proposal on the table completely eliminates this authority in favor of a majority vote by relevant agencies, tilting the scales away from license denial and toward license approval.
The amendment also sets forth strong negotiating objectives for multilateral regimes including that regime members should have verifiable export control systems--Russia wants to be a member but still exports arms to Iran; and, that members and prospective members should seek to prevent arms and other sensitive exports to dangerous states like Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, and any other terrorist nations that are contributing to tensions in the Middle East and elsewhere.
The amendment also requires accountability by the administration in the ongoing negotiations for a multilateral organization by requiring a status report within 30 days of the bill's enactment and requiring the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Commerce to testify before the Banking Committee every 6 months on the progress of the multilateral negotiations.
Another amendment directs all relevant agencies in the license review process to develop an on-line system so that agencies know what is available to review and can do so in the most timely manner. The current licensing system is based on referrals by the Commerce Department. Under this bill, each agency in the licensing review process is allowed to review any license application it chooses. Thus, in the case of DOD, they can see more licenses but take less action.
Lastly, the bill includes my amendment which requires Defense and Commerce to provide licensing information and certify that licenses approved for export did not pose a threat to national security or nonproliferation interests of the United States.
Once again, I do not believe that we can endanger our future security by allowing dangerous dual-use technology to make its way into the hands of the uncontrollable rogue states that threaten the security of the United States and its allies. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on this important issue throughout the legislative process.